December 22nd, 2010

Nativity in Your Home?

The Pope has encouraged us to have a Nativity displayed in our homes – hear what he has to say on YouTube:

Do you have a Nativity displayed in your home? It is a great and simple way for families to keep the newborn Christ visually present this season.  Kids love playing with the pieces and pretending with each of the figurines.  In our home we have to have more than one set: one beautiful set which was given to us on our wedding day and another for the kids to play with made of plastic.  Our kids, when each had their turn being the youngest, played extensively with the Nativity characters.  They easily made the connection from the stories at school, the videos they watched and from what they heard at church.  They also know that the manger is “empty” until Christmas Eve following mass.  Everyone wants to play with the baby Jesus!!!

Although it has not happened yet, I will challenge our kids this year to try something new.  They are excellent at building things out of Lego!  I would like them to build not only the Nativity stable, animals and all the characters…but the whole town of Bethlehem (according to their imagination).  It’s amazing what 4 boys can creatively come up with!  The point will not be so much the end result of their construction…but the imagining, conversation with sibblings as they talk about what they are constructing and the making of a story of long ago – real in the here and now!

What did you do with your family for a Nativity set growing up? How about now in your home?

I posted these earlier, but for some humour, take a peek at some of these untraditional (and in some cases the worst) nativity sets out there:

  • Try doing some kind of activity as a family to relive or make real the Nativity in a way that gets your children (or fellow family members) rethinking about the events surrounding Jesus’ birth.